It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

BABES in Fabricland....

Yesterday I had the pleasure of gathering with yet another group of fabulous local (and semi-local) sewing friends - my delightful group of BABES (Bay Area Bash Expressly for Sewists).   Not that we ever need an excuse to get together, but we had a good one - long-term BABES member   Lori, who blogs at  Monkeyroom was back home for a short visit after 2 years in Germany, so we made sure to gather the troops while she was here.

Little did we know just how much we were going to benefit from this visit!  But more about that later...

A number of us attended the always-loaded-with-inspiration Artistry in Fashion this year and have been working on patterns we got from Sandra Ericson of Center for Pattern Design.  We showed our finished (and semi-finished) pieces, and, in true opinionated sewing form, both dissed and praised her unique style and pattern-making techniques (I'm definitely on the prone-to-praise end of the scale, but then the 3 patterns I bought from her were carefully curated by me, and involved as much trying on of finished pieces as I could manage!)  I shared my experiences with the CB Bolero and the Spiral Blouse (coming soon to a blog near you....).  The lovely Lisa was wearing her muslin of the Spiral Blouse, Vicki showed a highly wearable "muslin" of the Spiral Coat, Heather modeled several versions of the Pyramid Dress (which has the most amazingly unique pattern pieces I've ever really need to SEE it to understand wait, even seeing it won't help you understand it.....).   There were a few wadders involved - I admit that FITTING Ericson's unusual designs is not the easiest sewing task to master; luckily the bias drape of many of her garments solves a myriad of potential fitting issues.

Here are shots of a couple of the CPD pieces:

Vicki's gorgeous closure on the Spiral Coat:

Lisa having fun with bright shiny objects -
I think her Spiral Blouse muslin is awesome!

Georgene, of the inactive but still amazing blog Sewing Divas, showed her progress on the 3-years-in-the-making-during-her-spare-time Chanel Jacket (and it's looking good!!)

Wendy, Rose, and Vicki had all attended the Education of the Textile Arts Sew Expo the week before (if I can learn to say & remember that mouthful, it sounds like an event worth attending next year!)  Wendy showed samples of some techniques she learned from Jan Bones at one of the many workshops given during the Expo.  Wendy, btw, is  very knowledgabe with her sewing techniques already, but she felt that she really got a lot out of the workshops she attended.   It sounds like a great venue!

Lori brought her beautiful dress - shown here on her blog - and the yummiest scarf that she wove herself - I have weaving envy!  There were a few other show and tells, and oh, did I mention a tableful of deliciously delectable goodies that we munched on?   Like....all day long?   I should remember to take pictures of the food tables at some of these events.   Sewists can Cook!

There were a few other show & tells...

and then....

the Fabric Feeding Frenzy Fun began....

In the interest of preserving the privacy of a certain Fabricaholic, I won't name any names.  But in order to clear out some of her (apparently rather large) stash before returning to Germany, one of us brought Four.  Large.  Tubs.  of fabulous fabric in the desparate hope that some of it would find new homes.

This is what happened:
Jennifer and Wendy begin with Polite Fabric Inspection: 

Fabric Tugging Ensues
Mine.  No, Mine.  No no....MINE!:

The pile grows larger while people politely pet and eye
certain cuts, waiting to see if someone else wants it more....

The Unnamed Fabricaholic gazes at the stash, 
wondering if she's really ready to let that piece go, 
while Irene reaches for a goodie that has caught her eye.

Rose of Needles, Pins, Thorns inspects all sides of a beautiful bit of brightness,
while Georgene and Lisa fondle other goodies:

Rose's smile indicates that this one is definitely coming home with her!

Hands reach for that last bit of 
unclaimed fabric.... 

with absolutely unprecedented results, the above tiny piles were ALL that was left of the stash-sharing-giveaway!   This speaks to the quality of Lori's stash (oops, did I just give her name away???  My bad....)  The bad news...sort that we always send off our unclaimed fabric & notions to a school in the Philippines, and we usually have a LOT to give.    This time...yeah...not so much.

I was really happy to help out the cause of clearing Lori's stash.   And help I did.   A lot.   I thought I was doing so well with the large bag of fabric I brought to give away...but I went home with nearly twice as much:

Not only that, but check out those labeled cards with fabric content and amount!    I feel so righteous when I actually manage to do that when I bring new fabric home....maybe this will help inspire me to be a little more conscious?

Yeah....doubt it.

Thanks Lori, for your gracious generosity, and thanks to all my bodacious BABES buddies for a fantastic day!   :)


shams said...

WOWEE!!! I am SO sorry that I had to miss this! I was home sewing up polyester chiffon! But THANKS for sharing these pics! It was like I was there. :)

I hope all of my fellow BABES enjoy their new acquisitions and I really hope that I am free for the next one!

Glenda said...

Jilly, I am tickled to vicariously enjoy the event through your post. Given the size of this fabricaholic's stash, it is probably a good thing I wasn't there to partake. Thanks for the photos!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy to see the BABES! Jilly, thank you!

MarcyF said...

You're killing me here with all these sewing get togethers! Thanks for sharing the fun with all of us!

Jen S. said...

It was so much fun yesterday. Thanks, Jilly for being the photojournalist this time!

Rose said...


This a great re-cap of the event. I'm glad to see your pictures--they reminded me of some of the details. Good times all around. :)

Rose in SV

badmomgoodmom said...

Oooh, looks like fun. I look forward to seeing your spiral blouse.

RhondaBuss said...

A little fabric fighting is good for the soul :) Looks like you had such a wonderful time.

Martha said...

What a terrific party that must have been! Thanks for sharing the fun.

Audrey said...

Sounds like it was a fabulous time, as sewing get together always are. And it was so good of you to give a caring home to those wonderful fabrics! I have a couple of the C4PD patterns. Someday I hope to make them. In the mean time I enjoy seeing yours and other sewers versions of them, and reading the blog posts.

Dixie said...

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: You are so fortunate to live in an area with so many sewing groups. Belonging to a group (or two, or three) is such a powerful means of keeping the sewing mojo and inspiration alive. Thanks for sharing snippets of this day!

Jean said...

Great photos! How fun that, after all of the eyeing, petting, tugging and claiming, most of the fabric found good homes!

Lori said...

Thank you for posting the photos and capturing the essence of the gathering so well. I am so happy you were able to use two of the fabrics for pillowcases for Rhonda. I wanted to participate in that but had absolutely no time while I was in California, and unfortunately none of the fabrics suitable for making pillowcases made the cut for my precious suitcase space. Fabric is heavy! I did manage to stuff quite a bit of fabric into my checked bag and carry-on though.